Time frame


    What is a time frame in trading?

    In trading and especially in trading software and chart analysis, the time frame refers to a specified periodicity the price action is displayed on a chart.

    The most important chart type are Japanese candlestick charts. On them, each candle represents a period determined by the time frame.

    Example: for a 5-minute chart, each candlestick forms for five minutes before the next starts to form. Thus, on the chart, each candle shows five minutes of price action (except for the latest one that still forms).

    Read how to modify the time frame of a candlestick in MetaTrader 4 (MT4), the most popular trading software:

    Trading on different time frames

    Different trading strategies employ different time frames for chart analysis, order management and trade management.

    It is important that the time frame fits the lifestyle and preferences of a trader. This can and should also influence the choice of the right trading strategy.

    For example, a trader may choose to trade on a shorter time frame, like day trading or scalping, because they do not have the time or patience to wait to find an entry.

    For another trader, longer time frames may be more ideal, because they do have a lot of patience and may not be able to trade as often during the course of a day.

    Read our starter lesson on time frames: